Communications Regulator reminds public to register SIM cards
The Communications Regulatory Authority of Namibia (CRAN) this week announced that the mandatory registration of SIM cards commenced on 1 January in line with the provisions of Section 77 of the Communications Act (No. 8 of 2009), as unregistered SIM cards will be deactivated after 31 December of this year.
Namibia’s regulator indicated that the “conditions imposed in terms of SIM card registration obligate users to register their SIM card/s at the mobile service provider/s they subscribe to.”
In a statement, the regulator said mandatory “SIM card registration is in line with international best practice.” Namibia now joins 157 other countries from across the world that has already implemented mandatory SIM card registration.
According to CRAN Head Corporate Communication, Katrina Sikeni, as of 1 January this year, it is mandatory for mobile service providers to register all their customers’ SIM cards and obtain all relevant information before the sale and activation of SIM cards.
Sikeni added that it is further mandatory that any newly purchased SIM card must be subjected to mandatory registration before use.
“Mobile service providers will have a period of 12 months to conclude the registration of all existing customers until 31 December 2023. The information of new customers must be registered within three months (from the date of sale) as unregistered SIM cards will be deactivated after 31 December 2023,” she said.
Furthermore, the primary purpose of SIM Card registration is to facilitate the investigation of crimes committed with the aid of mobile devices. Meanwhile, there are other benefits derived by consumers that are a direct result of having a digital identity.
Moreover, there has been an increase in the use of digital and/or online services, providing opportunities for Namibians to embrace virtual teaching and learning, mobile banking, and online shopping, the regulator said, adding that customers can register their SIM cards at the service provider they subscribe to.
Customers will be required to provide their full name, proof of residential address, and identity number in the form of a copy of their Identity Document or passport. “The SIM registration conditions apply to Namibian nationals and foreigners for the duration of their stay in Namibia,” said Sikeni.
“I urge all ICT consumers to register their SIM cards before 31 December to enjoy the full benefit of ICT products and services,” Sikeni concluded.